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Fmr. Gov. Pataki on NY Exodus: New York Is Horribly Misgoverned

‘They have reversed the criminal justice policies that I put in place that made New York the safest big state in America’
By Grabien Staff


ASMAN: “As hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers leave that state, because of lockouts, higher taxes, rising crime and the lockdowns it is important to remember that the state has been at brink of disaster before only to fight back and refrain its place as the nation’s financial capital. One of the governors to take part in a renaissance like that was three-term Governor George Pataki. He joins us now. Great to see you. I must say a lot of, a lot of pessimism about New York’s future but we’ve seen pessimism before about New York when it got in trouble. We have turn things around. What is necessary to turn around hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers leaving the state because of how bad things ae right now.”

PATAKI: “You know, David, I hear that pessimism every day and I understand it because New York has just been horribly misgoverned and the decisions really hurt the city, the state, the people enormously. It has to start to change right now. If I were the governor right now I would do two things. First of all I would say indoor dining, 25 percent, social distancing is okay. We looked at the numbers. Less than one and 1 1/2 percent of infections come from indoor dining. We need our small businesses to survive. We need Manhattan to come back. We’re opening today. The second thing I would do say, we’re opening the schools when the holiday break is over. Schools don’t spread the virus. Working parents need to know they can go to work. Kids need to know they’re not going to have to sit in front of Zoom for eight hours. Parents need to have some sense that we’re beginning to return to normal. It will not be normal for a while. We know that. But you have to send some positive messages. David, the third thing I would do we’re not raising taxes. Our taxes are too high. One of the reasons people and businesses are going to Florida and Texas. We’ll work to balance the budget without raising taxes. There are things you have should do today to reverse the pessimism, give people confidence tomorrow will be okay.”

ASMAN: “You know, governor, it is not all about the pandemic. A lot of these things, the higher taxes, the rise in crime, these are, these are problems that began to happen far before the outbreak of the pandemic. And –”

PATAKI: “Absolutely, David.”

ASMAN: “Can’t you, can’t you make it a political message from either the republican side or the libertarian, I don’t care who it is as long as people like you who were responsible for turning around the bad times in New York could get those same policies in place again?”

PATAKI: “Made New York the safest big state in America. You saw tragically a few days ago, one of Governor Cuomo’s aides, 2:30 in the afternoon midtown Manhattan, viciously attacked and seriously injured by a mentally ill homeless person convicted of numerous crimes. You have to put convicted criminals behind bars. You have to stand behind police. You can’t let mentally ill homeless to run the streets. These are policies we had in place. Why some people come to New York, particularly young people. They reversed them all with tragic consequences. It hasn’t taken long to lose the ground we gained but we can get it back, New Yorkers pay 12% premium of than other cities and states do because of higher taxes. Quality of life is so much he have so in New York. A lot has to do with the lockdown. A lot has to do with safety issues as well.”

ASMAN: “Absolutely. What you said it has gone right now. I hope right now are the operative words because it can be changed. Quality of life is critical. People will not continue to pay the premium if they can’t go to a restaurant, can’t go to a concert, most importantly they can’t walk in my town Manhattan in the middle of the day and ride the subway and right now you can’t. Policies, people know, at least someone with my experience. I can see what needs to be done. I see how we turn this around quickly. It has to happen. If it doesn’t happen, the pessimism, the leaving, the discouragement about the future of New York is just going to continue with tragic consequences. New York will come back —“

ASMAN: “I’m getting a wrap but one thing you see a lot of in New York are cranes, building cranes because a lot of buildings are half completed. The question whether they remain empty when the pandemic is over and when the lockdowns are all over. Whether people will not move back. What happens with all of that empty commercial real estate in Manhattan.”

PATAKI: “You see that all over the city and I know with my firm we have like, 10 or 11 or 12 floors in an office. People are now used to working remotely. Nobody goes in. Virtually no one goes into the office. And the restrictions are lifted how many will say I can still work from home? I think there will be a contraction in office space but New York, if it gets the right policies, as you said we control crime and homeless issue and have a better quality of life, if we don’t have a higher tax burden so that the premium becomes even greater than it us today, then it will take a while but New York will come back. But if we don’t reverse those failed policies, if we don’t restore funding and stand behind the police at a time when crime is rising the downward spiral will continue t doesn’t to. It is about leadership. David: that is the real crime it doesn’t have to. We know what works. We know what doesn’t work. We’re doing what doesn’t work.”

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